SAHRA HALGAN

SAHRA HALGAN

 Lyon, Rhône-Alpes, FRA
BandWorld

True ambassadress of her country’s music, Sahra sings the nostalgia, the memory and the rips of the exile. With lightness and in shows full of emotions, she becomes a vibrant echo of Somaliland and sings love, peace and war

Biography

Great-granddaughter and granddaughter of traditional singers, Sahra has been singing the repertoire inherited from her ancestors since her childhood. Despite her parents’ disapproval and the discredit attached to women musicians in her native Somaliland, she has grown up and has started her career accompanying bands and playing in musicals.
 
When the war burst out in 1988 in Somaliland – territory situated in north-eastern Somalia and formerly a British protectorate – “Little Sahra” (Sahra Yart) commits herself and sings by the Walalo Hargeysa’s sides, soldiers fighting for the independence of their country. On the front lines, Sahra acts as nurse for the Red Cross. In the middle of the jungle, she sings to allay the sufferings of the wounded soldiers. “Little Sahra” then becomes “Sahra the combatant” (Sahra Halgan), a nickname given to her by a separatist radio of the country. In a tight social and political context, she runs off the country in 1992.

Political refugee settled in Lyon, she is still actively supporting the cause of her country, self-proclaimed independent in 1991, but so far unrecognized by the international community. Since then, she is considered as an absolute musical icon of the country and as the voice of the Somalilandese community dispersed to the four corners of the world.
 
Her unique and atypical vocal identity has largely contributed to this recognition. Characteristic of the territories of eastern Africa, where the influences of the Middle-East and of Africa are intermingling, her voice surprises by its suppleness, its timbre and its originality; combining throat-voice, tribal inflexions, ululations and oriental ornamentations.

Since her arrival in France, Sahra Halgan has staged her atypical route and her musical family inheritance with the complicity of African musicians settled in Lyon. After the release of her first album in 2009, she has covered the stages of Europe and of the world, and she has endeavoured to make the very unrecognized somalilandese culture discovered by the European audience. “I haven’t left Somaliland to go sightseeing, I didn’t had the choice” says Sahra, in one of her song.
 
True ambassadress of her country’s music, Sahra sings the nostalgia, the memory and the rips of the exile. With lightness and in shows full of emotions, she becomes a vibrant echo of Somaliland and sings love, peace and war. On stage, this great east-African voice with an incredible stage presence has a gift to take the audience to a unique journey where good mood and shared smiles are blending…

Discography

SOMALILAND - Athos Productions 2009

Released in 2009 and produced by Athos Productions, the album “Somaliland” blends harmoniously the traditional music from Somaliland and the rhythms and sonorities from western Africa. For its making, Sahra Halgan has collaborated with Peter Solo, musician and singer from Togo who accompanies her with traditional percussions, guitar and kibeou (traditional guitar from Togo). This subtle blending expresses the sufferings endured for generations by the people from their respective countries. The recording, the sound mixing and the mastering have been made by Pascal Boudier in the Opensound Studio Records (69).

Set List

1. Nabad
2. Gaadh
3. Hadagan
4. Botor
5. Deeq
6. Somaliland
7. Ahaa Ahaa Ahaa
8. Teeri
9. Matis
10. Mataan
11. Qaraami
12. L'inconnu